Harley Quinn’s New Creative Team Delivers Triumphant New Era

Stephanie Phillips and Riley Rossmo lead the pack through a brilliant opening story arc in Harley Quinn’s new series, redefining the character.

Restarting a franchise character’s comic book series from scratch can be a daunting task, especially for a character as beloved as DC Comics. Harley quinn, but for the new series of Clownstress of Crime, writer Stephanie Phillips, along with artist Riley Rossmo and her company, have put together a roadmap to success that is paying off. As their first story arc ends in issue # 5 and Harley’s debut villain Hugo Strange has been solidly beaten, Phillips and Rossmo have proven to be a force to be reckoned with, reinvigorating a modern and classic character throughout. while navigating in a difficult environment. , nuanced progression in the delivery.

Harley’s new series debuted following the crossover event Jokers war, who saw Quinn side with the angels in their fight against her abusive ex-boyfriend the Joker. With Phillips taking over Harley Quinn’s writing duties from popular Sam Humphries, the bar was set high not only in terms of the quality of the series, but also in terms of the evolution of Harley’s status in the much larger Batman mythos. When the series began in earnest in March during DC’s Infinite border event (after a two-number interlude in the alternate timeline Future state), fans were treated to a radically different take on the world of Gotham through the art of Riley Rossmo, whose style incorporated influences as diverse as the 1950s classic Crazy magazine To Batman: The Animated Series to contemporary anime. Combined with Phillips’ whimsical but psychologically intensive view of Harley, the couple had auspicious potential from their inception.

Related: Harley Quinn Writer Recalls Her Cartoon Origins

While their run is only five numbers, it’s clear that Phillips and Rossmo’s nuanced take on the character hits the nail on the head, providing a wild new model for the character going forward. Both deranged and determined, this creative team has proven in a very short space of time how capable they are of striking the right balance between tragedy and comedy that Harley Quinn’s character conjures up in her account of Harley’s quest to “heal.” “Gotham with her (somewhat questionable) training in clinical psychology. Phillips’ ability to weave shocking societal commentary with slapstick superhero antics meets Rossmo’s sublimely offbeat and feverish dream / cartoon to evoke a vision of Gotham that feels both at home and strangely alien to the world. times. Never a dull moment in these panels.

The last attribute in the series that puts everything in place, aside from colourist Ivan Plascencia’s off-center yet brilliant color palette, would be Phillips’ acceptance of the entire character of Harley, flaws included. Invented as a sidekick / victim of the Joker only to be partially redeemed and presented as an anti-heroine due to her perhaps slightly misguided popularity, Phillips takes the character’s original, if not slightly unsettling, traditional nuances and, delving deep into the psychology of l background of the character, turns her journey into a real discussion of whether a violent criminal like Harley Quinn can be redeemed. That is, if society even has the capacity to allow someone who has been seen as a threat to find redemption, even if they are a former psychotic clown.

Hardships and lost battles aside, Phillips, Rossmo and company seem optimistic about Harley Quinn’s prospect of saving the day, no matter how bizarre or bad her plan is, or the collateral damage it generates. Harley quinn # 5 is on sale now everywhere the comics are sold.

Next: Review: Harley Quinn Is Her Own Worst Enemy In New Solo Comic

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